Friday, February 28, 2014

Toddler/Bebe Essentials {toddler chronicles}

There is a weird feeling in my feelings that I've used that photo before. Oh well… :/

This post should be prefaced with:
Baby blogs, baby shoppes, people in the street will tell you to buy a billion things you do not need.

I've written lists about baby stuff I've used and used and not used. All my lists can be found on the left hand side over there <<<. So here's a list of toddler things that I use and use. I know my homegirl Domestic Divinity did a similar post recently - check out her lists because they are v similar and she does mention a few things I haven't used but should/could use.

1. Ikea highchair - you do not need to buy anything else. No. Hose it down or wipe it down with baby wipes. Simples. It's cheap. Cheap is good.

2. Baby wipes. I like the Huggies ones. We also use Huggies nappies. I know there are endless debates on what's cheaper and works but I figure if it's not broken why try to fix it. Huggies have always worked for us. Baby wipes will clean your house. I have cleaned the whole house using baby wipes before. Also the interior of your car. Brilliant.

3. A decent pram. Everyone has different pram "wants". We had no idea what to get so I saw my sister in law in action with their pram and thought "that'll do". Who can really be bothered researching prams when you've got someone you trust that can show you theirs. I don't know what I'd do without our icandy. It folds up easily and has lots of space at the bottom for shopping/bag etc, it's become very dirty and wipes clean easily. Yay!

4. Angel Care Monitor. There are 2 schools of thoughts about monitors. People are either for them or totally against them. I can't hear O in the living room and Hamish is basically deaf from his Dj years so it was imperative for us. We also set it up the other night when O was sick as he had vomited so it was a good way for us to hear that.

5. Nurofen and Panadol. I'm not even kidding. Make sure you have these for teething/fevers. They happen and there is no point having your baby in pain.

6. Bubble bath. Shitty days happen, cranky dinner time happens - a bubble bath calms baby before bed. This is free of nasties and costs about $4 from your supermarket. Bingo!

7. Love To Dream sleeping bags. They can be machine washed, they are natural fibres. I know there are cheaper ones out there but a lot are polyester - not great. 

8. Wine and coffee. Always. Always have both in supply and Champagne. Always. Also Beverly Hills 90210 reruns really hit the spot.

9. A library membership. Free books, an excuse to get out of the house that's all weather friendly. Priceless.

10. The best baby car seat you can get your mittens on. Plan for the worst. This is the one thing you really cannot be skint on. We bought the Safe and Sound Platinum.

11. Euro Trike. It's so much easier and lighter than the pram and great for trips around the block or a walk along the beach. Orlando's obsessed with his.

12. BOOKS. All the books. Classics. Flap. Cardboard. Soft. Bath. Picture. Word. ALL THE BOOKS. 

13. Music. Essential. Not just kids music too we listen to all sorts of jams. Foxtel has a fantastic selection of radio stations.

14. Cruskits. I don't know what we would do without O's beloved cruskits.

Things we used but didn't realllllyyyyy need at the end of the day:

Bumbo Seat - we used it for about 5 minutes

Dummies - we used one for about 2 minutes

Nappy Bag - used it for maybe 4 months. It was handy, but not essential. If you want one buy it second hand.

Outdoor swing - used it for 1 month. Orlando's too long for it now.

Baby shoes - pointless, a nightmare to get on. They look cute though haahhaaha Better to invest in good shoes for when they have established their walking and want to trot around outside.

Baby classes - we never fell into the trap. Orlando will start some swimming classes etc maybe in Spring but for now he's happy hitting the pool with us and seriously doesn't have the learning capacity to take a class on board. Plus the financial commitment to turn up... Your local library will do music/story time - don't spend your precious clams on music/gym/play classes.

We had a baby rocker thing that didn't rock electronically… it was useless. We used it for about 30 seconds and then sold it. If we have another bebe I'll totes get an electronic one that does something cool so I can have a NB in the bathroom while I shower as I imagine Orlando at that stage will want to poke/prod/annoy/squeeze his sibling to no end.

TOO MANY NEWBORN CLOTHES!! If you buy someone who is pregnant clothes for the bebe - buy them for 12 months down the track (make sure they are in season). They grow out of NB stuff in about a week, maybe 2.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Be My Valentine

We had our very, very first getaway since Orlando was born over the weekend. It was - AMAZING! We're already planning out next weekender! Ha! Hamish took me to all our favourite places, including Bistro Vue which now occupies the whole space where Vue De Monde used to be. The food was phenomenal as always, the chicken terrine in the photo was my favourite - so delicious. My favourite waitress attended to our table and recommended the goose egg with chorizo and smoked yogurt - SO good!!!! We stayed in a hotel AND SLEPT IN UNTIL 0930!!! Cue angels singing!!! On the way home we had a souvlaki from Jimmy Grants for breakfast, perfection.

Want to know what I'm wearing? 
I wore shorts. My legs are terrible but I couldn't really care less and quite frankly a slap of fake tan does wonders.

Country Road heart print silk shirt find it here.
Country Road pleather shorts find them here.
Hermes bangle

How often do you go away for a weekend, sans baby? 
I'm thinking we should try to do it every 2-3 months. 
Where would you recommend we go next?!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Work Mum//Home Mum {toddler chronicles}

Firsts, in all aspects of life, they can be exhilarating, overwhelming, put a fear in your bones like you've never known, spark incomparable excitement. For a toddler I can only imagine what the "firsts" they experience feel like. As adults we forget most milestone firsts. I can't remember my first step, first word, first day at Kindergarten. To evoke some sort of a 3rd hand memory I read my mothers diaries or ask dad, my Aunty or my brother. When I was little mum had to return to work and put me in care down the road with a lady called Pam. Heaven knows how I've remembered her name, perhaps it was my experiences there that seared it onto my brain. Whenever mum dropped me off the tears would start and I'd stand in the corner at the front door and cry, full of dread, full of pain tears. I remember standing in the corner, I remember crying. It was, traumatic for me at the time - consequently it's one of my earliest memories. When mum picked me up it was like the heavens opened. One day she took me to the shops straight after and I recall swinging my legs in the trolley and picking a giant Care Bears colouring book to take home with me. Mum pulled me out of Pam's care pretty soon after putting me in. One day she came to pick me up and a whole bunch of us were sitting in Pam's car out the front, climbing all over the seats. The keys were in the transmission.

The other day was Orlando's first full day of childcare. I had to start work at 7 and because I'm a stickler for being on time I get there at 0630. So I asked Hamish to take Orlando to childcare or he would have been up at 0545, which isn't kind - to anyone, baby or not. Hamish drove him in and dropped him off without incident. I didn't hear a peep from the centre all day, but I could see it from the window at work. Don't you go thinking I didn't want to knick down and see if he was alright the whole time I was there. Half an hour before I was due to finish, I popped down to see how he was. He'd just fallen asleep - his first nap for the day. The girls told me he'd fought sleep all day, despite displaying clear signs of being tired. So I left him and went back to work instead of taking him with me to say hello to my co-workers. When I went back 45 minutes later he was awake, I scooped him into my arms as soon as I walked into the room and he rested his head on my shoulder. Instant relief for he and I. He wasn't upset or crying but he was so, so tired. I bundled him into the car and we started driving home. Around half way the crying started, sad, exhausted crying. We arrived home and I took him out of the car and brought him inside where there were more tears, kicking. It didn't stop.

I'm not saying this to be smug but Orlando doesn't keep crying. He may fuss, he may have a cry if he's hungry or tired or bumped his head. But he doesn't cry for prolonged periods of time. The crying after childcare went for over 45 minutes - I was worried. At one stage I thought "maybe I can google how to stop a baby crying" then I told myself to pull it together. I called Hamish and asked him to come home straight away because I just didn't know what to do. I held him, rocked him, patted him, tried to give him water, mango, hell I'm not going to lie I even tried a bite of Frosty Fruit - to no avail. Nothing worked. I had the TV on Play School to try and distract him but that didn't work. Then I pulled out the Foxtel remote. Orlando loves remotes, he has a healthy collection of old ones in the playroom but nothing beats The Real Deal. He reached for it, the sobbing started to slow down. For half an hour I let him play with the remote, we checked the fans in the house, we checked the light switches, we pressed the buttons on the remote to make words appear on the screen. It worked. I have never been so relieved.

When Hamish came home Orlando was already sitting up in his highchair, eating strawberries and mini pork meatballs. He was back to his happy, giggling self. Going to bed was a smooth transition and he slept beautifully. Crisis averted.

Prior to picking Orlando up that day I'd been talking with someone at work about returning to the workforce after having a baby. They thought it was imperative to "keep your finger on the pules" so to speak, to make sure you don't lose skills, become stale. Returning to work in this day and age was (in their opinion) not only valuable for your personal growth but imperative for keeping yourself valuable in the workforce - basically making sure you don't end up finding it hard to gain employment. They also said "you never know what's around the corner". I couldn't agree more with this especially after seeing what mum and dad went through with mum's cancer (financially). There is always the other side of the coin though.

A part of me longs to be at home all the time. To be able to draw chalk pictures on the driveway with Orlando all day long, to always have a delicious dinner prepared - to not miss things, little things, big things. Alas, it's not meant to be. For myself I can't lose skills at work, I have long service leave soon too, leaving just isn't an option. Plus I really do cherish the adult contact, that beautiful drive home where I can listen to whatever I want or be in silence. Bliss. With this two sided coin in mind though it has me thinking, can a mother really "have it all" or are we always destined to have an area of our lives lacking? Be it our relationship, friendships, work…. children. Does there always have to be a sacrifice? I'd like to think that there never, ever has to be a sacrifice but I know I make them every day. Most of the time it's a happy, not even noticed sacrifice. Sometimes it's one where it's not so amicable. 

How do you find a work/life balance? Did you find putting your baby in childcare difficult, any tips for those long days? If you're a stay at home mum what do you miss about working? Is the grass always greener on the other side?

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Sunday Gallery

There is an "occupy Facebook with art" thing going on at the moment. Of course I've been overly eager about it so thought I'd transfer some of that enthusiasm over here. I love art, adore it. I went to study Fine Arts at university after spending my VCE doing art sculpture. Basically though I was going through a rather rough period in my life (mum had just died) and I couldn't really see much hope in my future/anything so gave it up thinking "I can never make a career of this" - well that was my excuse at the time. A huge part of me regrets this naive 19 year old decision. Thankfully though, my love for art has continued to span across the years. This is basically all modern art. My love for older periods doesn't wane though. One day, maybe, I'll do a post about them.

2. Reka (this print was being sold in 2009 for $150 I shudder to think what it would be sold for now).
3. Sever
4.  Hense 

Obviously these are all "street artists" or "graffiti artists" or whatever you want to call them. A lot of people "don't like graffiti" to be honest there is a lot of "graffiti" that I don't like either but that's usually not actual graffiti/or art but rather straight up 13 year old boredom on a wall. This stuff, to me, is art and the essence of art especially in 2014.

I really want that McGinley photograph as a wall decal or canvas, any tips on where/how to get it printed??!

I've turned off comments here because as much as I love reading them I feel like I don't always get to reply, then I feel rude. FB, twitter and IG give a much more "personal" level of conversation. If you'd like to follow me on any of those formats here are the links:


Friday, January 31, 2014

Toddler Life - Toddler Chronicles

Humans are funny creatures. One minute their a tiny baby full of rolling, sleeping and feeding. A smudge in your life that can't move beyond the space of a rug. The next they are a walking, running, 500 expressions in a day toddler. 

I passed Orlando a strawberry in the car the other day and he said "yummmmmm" after he bit into it. He knows which buttons to press for the lift at the supermarket and I cheer him on when he does it. He'll wail away like the world is about to end - without tears, all for show to be allowed to stand on the dining table. Mum knows best though, for now. In the morning I pick up glasses from beside the bed, hide the remote controls - Orlando proofing is necessary and just a part of the morning ritual. Recently he refused to be fed anymore and will now only take food in hand sized pieces or attack a bowl of yogurt and paint the floor, walls and himself with it. It has made feeding time easier in some aspects (he'll do it himself) but harder in others (it takes an hour). 

There are days when Hamish gets home from work and I literally go into the bedroom and stare at the ceiling for 15 minutes, silence is a massive, massive virtue. Sometimes I have a good cry because honestly it's the best thing to do. The past few weeks have leant themselves to many hot, heavy tears because of extenuating circumstances. It can be damn hard work some days but it's also the most cut to your bones, rip your heart out of your chest in love you will ever be in your life. It makes the somewhat testing times easier, at the end of the day. 

Orlando still wakes up occasionally at night, sometimes for a cuddle, often for a drink and a nappy change. As an adult I often need a sip of water and a visit to the toilet, so it seems only fitting that he does too. The other night he couldn't calm down after waking himself up so I put him on my chest and patted him saying "shhhhh, shhhh" he settled in minutes. It was beautiful.

I keep saying to Hamish "I can't wait until...." which has me kicking myself, we need to live more in the moment because these days, these moments - they amaze me.